There will be plenty on the line when Northwestern visits Morningside this Saturday in a key Great Plains Conference showdown. This is the regular season finale for the Mustangs who have won five straight and are 7-2 on the season.
Morningside coach Steve Ryan says the Mustangs are treating this like a playoff game, and if they win, they will be in, and if they lose, they probably won’t. he says they started out 2-2 and talked about getting better every week. Defense and turnover margin helped turn things around. The Mustangs are yielding just over 12 points per game and are a plus-12 in turnovers.
Ryan says the defense will get a big test from the Northwestern offense as they have a very good quarterback that makes big plays with his feet and his arm. Morningside is ranked 15th in the latest NAIA poll. Northwestern is 7-1 and eighth ranked nationally. The Red Raiders have one game left after this week but would take a big step toward the national playoffs with a win.
Northwestern coach Orv Otten who says with a win the playoffs would be in their sights. Otten says it’s huge as if they win then Morningside will likely not make the playoffs, and if they lose, his team will be on the bubble for getting in.
Otten says the Northwestern offense must limit mistakes against the Morningside defense. Otten says they are very aggressive and like to create turnovers. Northwestern quarterback Craig Hector has thrown 19 touchdown passes this season and is completing 55 percent of his passes. Oten says Hector has done a great job of keeping himself alive, and distributing the ball.